On repotting into semi hydroponics

Brassia Spiders Gold ‘Prolific’. Note the shriveled condition of the bulbs. The newer bulb on the far right rotted at the base.

 I read a lot about moving plants into semi hydroponic media.  There are two schools of thought: to immediately move the plant into media once one receives it, or to wait for the plant to finish blooming before moving it.  Since semi hydroponics requires the plant to grow new roots (in most cases) to adapt to the new medium, the second seems to make the most sense.  However, with my travel schedule, I have taken the first approach most of the time.

However, I am realizing that the second approach is the correct one.  The picture is of my Brassia Spiders Gold ‘Prolific’, which I purchased at the Sacramento orchid show in April.  I planted this into semi hydroponics right away, and it bloomed nicely (although the blooms only stayed for about two weeks).  The bulbs were very firm when I purchased the plant, and it was extremely healthy. However, one can see from this picture that the plant has been using all the resources stored in the bulbs to grow, and has put its energy into the flowers, and not the roots.  Now it has so little energy left, that it is dying.  Last night, one of the new bulbs broke off, and I discovered that it had rotted at the base.

I need to delay putting my orchids into semi hydroponics media until they are ready to grow roots.  Since I largely purchase plants in spike or in bloom, I need to wait until the blooms finish until repotting.

[As an aside:  I decided to do this blog to enable me to get control of my hobby.  I was getting too many plants from too many vendors.  Each of the plants seemed to have their own growing conditions, and there were questions about where to place them in the orchid room.  This blog let me see that the early repotting into S/H was not a good strategy.  So the blog is working!]

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